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Old 02-24-2003, 09:43 PM   #26
ikkainogakusei
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Re: Assistance with research please?

Hi Josephine

Um, I think if you really want to write this book with an aikidoist in mind, try taking a class or two. One inherent quality of a discussion forum with many people, is that everyone is an expert on their part of the proverbial elephant.

As for the technique you received; I kind-of pictured the nikkyo, but there's no telling because there are many wrist/forearm techniques.

Also, there is this flaw in writing about a martial artist, and that is to spend time describing the movement enough that it loses it's 'magic'. Steven J Gould (Fantastic evolutionary biologist, less than mediocre SciFi Author) wrote a book called Helm, which had a few descriptions, but they seemed forced.

As for the vago-vasal or as I learned it vaso-vagal [meaning that it is related to the blood vessels and the Vagus Nerve (tenth cranial, controls many functions of vital organs including cardio-vascular functions)]response; the whole idea of this being a safe way to render a person unconscious, is much like the cliche of whacking somebody on the head with a big rock, we see it in a lot of movies, but I wouldn't try it.

Uh, to use a less delicate example, there are quite a few cases of people having heart-attacks on the toilet due to self-induced vaso-vagal response. Meaning that they induce so much pressure in their own cardio-vascular system, that the baro-receptors open the vascular ststem as wide as it'll go, but often it's too late. I've done CPR on someone in the tiniest of bathrooms after this had happened to them.

Sorry if the thread hasn't shed the light needed. Hope it helps a little though.

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Old 02-25-2003, 12:02 PM   #27
BC
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In the dojo I practice where I practice, we do practice a choke hold called hije shime (a sleeper hold), which can render a person unconcious by temporarily cutting off the blood supply to the brain via the coratid (sp?) artery. Very similar to techniques I learned in another martial art. Nothing magic about it, just basic anatomy and leverage.

Robert Cronin
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Old 02-26-2003, 05:00 AM   #28
Kelly Allen
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Mike Lee has already stated on a previous thread that he will not reveal his credentials. I do remember he did have a good reason for it. Or at least I felt it was a good reason at the time. However, since he has said that, he shouldn't expect others to for the same reasons.

Now back to the thread. Yonkyo! Definitly Yonkyo!

Last edited by Kelly Allen : 02-26-2003 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 02-26-2003, 05:31 AM   #29
DaveO
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Possibly; probably Yonkyo. However; something makes me hesitate - a few weeks ago; I would have discounted pressure point techniques entirely as mere pain-causing strikes. But we have a visiting instructor that drops by from Chatham every now and then; Tony specializes in including pressure-point techniques in his Aikido. Being the big guy in the Dojo, he likes to use me as the test subject. (Oh, yay. LOL!) he hasn't demonstrated a 'wrist thing' as Josephine described it, put he did employ a technique in which he had my wrist, then struck downward on the forearm just above the inside elbow. It was a light strike - no pain involved yet I collapsed to the mat. Whatever anyone says, pressure points work. I don't know anything about them, all I know is I've felt the effect.

Josephine; when you described the 'wrist thing', you didn't mention if it was pain that put you down, or sudden weakness etc. If you could tell us that; it'll help us narrow down the name.


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Old 02-27-2003, 01:42 AM   #30
Kelly Allen
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Dave you make it sound like Yonkyo is a strike to the nerve. It, as it was taught to me, is a presure applied by the extended index finger on a nerve located on either side of the wrist. Which side it is applied depends on the technic you have used it in. I have been able to apply it on everyone I have trained with. That doesn't mean the yonkyo was easy to find on everyone. It seems to be in slightly different spots on the wrist for everyone. I personally wouldn't depend on it in a tense situation. That dosen't mean that I wouldn't try it if I felt there was an opportunity during a technic I was useing to get out of a tense situation.
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Old 02-27-2003, 02:12 AM   #31
mike lee
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Quote:
Mike Lee: I'm very curious to know your background since you feel entitled to ask everyone to provide theirs.
I never asked to know "everyone's" backround.

Pressure-point strikes are not a part of any internationally recognized aikido-training program. To imply in any way that they are is careless, especially from someone that would not even be considered to be at the level of shidoin in most organizations.
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Old 02-27-2003, 02:21 AM   #32
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Quote:
By the way, I'm not sure what your issue is with fraudulent activity. How about providing us with your credential. Organization, etc.
My credentials are not at issue here. I'm not writing an article for "Black Belt" magazine.

BTW. I will be writting a letter to the publication to express my deep reservations about your article. My credentials will be included in that letter.
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Old 02-27-2003, 10:20 AM   #33
Alfonso
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Hey Mike! , I was hoping you would reveal yourself (anonymity has its drawbacks doesn't it for all we know you are a madman in disguise!) However, its your prerogative.

I have a hard time figuring where Aikido stops and where one can say "this is not Aikido". The principles I'm learning do not include injunctions such as "atemi can only be performed with your hands" . They'er more along the lines of "Blend" "Redirect" "Protect" . Certainly killing is not part of the story in my understanding. Personally I also back away from seeking to inflict pain, I try my best to let uke do that on their own..

However, people in this forum come from diverse backgrounds. I have noticed though that whenever this question pops up there are folks who argue that pressure-point strikes are effective Atemi, and fit well with Aikido waza, and that some instructors have done seminars on the subject! (as a matter of fact one of them is submitting an article to a magazine).

What I really was hoping for was some good discussion on the subject; why because its a hot-button topic around here!

I notice for example you do not deride pressure point striking as ridiculous. However you get upset at the idea that this could be "confused" with Aikido. On the other hand there are other folks who feel that this is witch doctor mumbo jumbo, but wouldn't feel compelled to circumscribe Aikido at all.

BTW, since I do not train in the AAA I'm not familiar with the shidoin requirements. I can assure you I feel very much a beginner! But again, if you don't want to say where you are coming from , then don't use authority as an argument, rather present you argument as to why things are or should be. Perhaps it's a pity, but I would respect your wisdom much more if I knew where it came from. Replies such as "Wrong", "Not true" , "Kaka" , or prehaps more polite forms of righteous indignation are really not helpful without explanation or context (i'll take your word though if you are Doshu).

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 02-27-2003, 10:40 AM   #34
aikidoc
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Response to Mr. Lee

Mike Lee Response:

To address your comments:

1. I do hold shidoin status with my organization by the way which was earned via attendance at numerous instructor's seminars. I'm sure your reference is with regards to the fact that I am currently a sandan and you are a yondan. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. And what does it have to do with my ability to research and write an article from an academic perspective? I hold a masters degree in business and a doctorate of chiropractic medicine and have published numerous articles (9) previously including one in a refereed medical journal as well as a masters thesis. What is in question here? My research and writing ability or the topic? Apparently, you have issue with the topic.

2. The article submitted is specifically about research into the aikido literature and some ancillary literature showing what has been written about aikido striking and pressure point usage. It traces the history of striking (atemi) and pressure point applications from India and into the locking and pinning arts including aikido. The article has 28 references, which is a third of the material read to develop the topic. It makes no claim that anyone is teaching it on a regular basis but idenifies that numerous people in the aikido community are interested in the topic, study the topic, and feel that it has a place in aikido for those interested in the martial perspective. It also connects the pressure point references on acupuncture points to the actual nerve location-that is Western medicine points or nerves. It makes no outlandish claims about knocking people out and in fact discusses this as a dangerous practice (vasovagal faint is a medically documented phenomenon). It also includes results of a survey I conducted of 5th dan aikido practitioners and above on an international basis, including responses from some head instructors of aikido organizations. The article finishes with an application of a specific technique to show how nerve points can be used to help make the technique more effective without disrupting the flow of the art. It concludes with my "opinion" as to the role of striking and nerve points in aikido. It make no assumptions that my views represent anyone elses.

If you should chance to research the aikido literature, you will find O'Sensei himself placed great importance on striking in his art. Saito sensei in his books makes reference to striking vital points and stressed the importance of atemi waza. There are numerous references to striking vital points in the aikido literature. In fact, a book was written in Japanese on the topic (no longer available)-I believe it was by Hashimoto (don't have the reference in front of me).

I find it disturbing that you are going to write a letter to BBM with apparently accusations of fraud regarding an article that you know absolutely nothing about. This magazine publishes articles regularly on pressure point applications either via Dim Mak or Kyusho Jitsu. There has only been one other article written on the topic in the aikido literature and the cited book. Yet, you have taken it upon yourself to champion your own issue with the topic-without knowing the issues addressed, the content of the article or anything else about it. A more constructive and objective approach would be to read the article when it comes out and then vent your critcisms in a productive well researched manner.

I'm not sure why you detest this topic so much. However, there are aikidoka interested in the topic (some at 6th and 7th dan levels and higher-aikikai affiliated) and choose to study it for their own personal development. I'm sure those people have no interest in trying to convert you to any belief system. I know I am not. Additionally, a non-emotional, logical discussion of the topic allows people to make choices as to whether there is validity to studying striking and pressure points of if this is not something that fits their aikido paradigm.

What I perceive here is someone with a very non-aiki response to an issue that apparently bothers them. Exercise some aiki spirit and try to be more harmonious with your posts and not criticize issues without having thoroughly researched them and perhaps asking specifically what is being discussed. Making assumptions is non-productive.

Academic freedom, the right to express one's research in press is a right we all share here in the U.S. I chose to use that right by researching and writing on a topic of interest to me. If you do not like the topic, that is your choice. The easiest solution is to read the topics you like. However, to criticize others for exercising that right interferes with their individual freedom of expression and choise.
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Old 02-27-2003, 11:09 AM   #35
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By the way Mike, when you take it upon yourself to criticize others and "write letters" and question others credentials, your credentials do become an issue. To suggest otherwise is a cop out.

Also, to suggest that I stated this topic was being practiced internationally is not accurate. Read my posts. I stated some aikiodoka are interested in this topic. I never stated it was part of a formal training program. If it is, I have no knowledge of that since it is up to the individual school/organization. As a journalist, I would think you would try to be more accurate with your statements about what was said.

Last edited by aikidoc : 02-27-2003 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 02-27-2003, 11:14 AM   #36
DaveO
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Quote:
Kelly Allen wrote:
Dave you make it sound like Yonkyo is a strike to the nerve. It, as it was taught to me, is a presure applied by the extended index finger on a nerve located on either side of the wrist. Which side it is applied depends on the technic you have used it in. I have been able to apply it on everyone I have trained with. That doesn't mean the yonkyo was easy to find on everyone. It seems to be in slightly different spots on the wrist for everyone. I personally wouldn't depend on it in a tense situation. That dosen't mean that I wouldn't try it if I felt there was an opportunity during a technic I was useing to get out of a tense situation.
Hi, Kelly; sorry if I wasn't very clear...what Tony did on me wasn'tYonkyo, it was a pressure-point technique. Yonkyo hurts like a bugger; this didn't hurt at all; yet I folded anyway. Ineresting.

Sorry 'bout that; hope this clears it up.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 02-27-2003, 02:42 PM   #37
John Boswell
 
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Wow... interesting thread here!

Speaking as someone in his first year of training under Riggs Sensei, I can tell you first hand that he is A) A strict believer in credentials B) An avid researcher and practitioner of Aikido and C) He can and will back up everything he says by executing technique. I have first-hand knowledge that you can put someone in Nikyo, but that with a certain squeeze in just the right place... it goes on much easier.

GETTING BACK TO THE TOPIC AT HAND... I would recommend to the writer interested in Aikido and just what it can do for the purpose of writing a "book", go take a CLASS !! What could be better than first-hand knowledge?? Might even develope some back-story for your characters.

Have a nice day!

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Old 02-28-2003, 06:11 AM   #38
aikidoc
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Skillful speech not only means that we pay attention to the words we speak and to their tone but also requires that our words reflect compassion and concern for others and that they help and heal, rather than wound and destroy.

-Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness"
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Old 02-28-2003, 07:47 AM   #39
Larry Feldman
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Josephine - Use the dojo search engine on this site to find a local dojo. They should be able to easily demonstrate all the major wrist techniques for you (ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, kote kaeshi and yonkyo).

I would suggest watching a few classes so your writing would keep the aikido movements in context.

Good luck with the book.
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Old 03-01-2003, 04:08 AM   #40
mike lee
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What I perceive here is someone with a very non-aiki response to an issue that apparently bothers them.
Striking vital areas of someones body is "non-aiki," especially when aikido offers so many better alternatives. This, as most aikidoists know, is what makes the art morally and ethically superior to most other martial arts, specifically striking arts.

Most students know this, and anyone who is instructing the art should know this. O-Sensei clearly stated that when someone intends to strike, this intent defies the laws of the universe.

Atemi in aikido is used only as a distraction or to check one's position. Any physical contact with atemi is usually only accidental.

Anyone who implies that striking vital areas as a part of aikido is wrong. I think that AAA, the IAF, Aikikai Hombu Dojo, and The Chamber of Commerce in Midland, Texas should be made aware of anyone who would make such an impllication.

The striking of vital points should only be taught by someone who is an expert in such an art. Aikido is not such an art.

I have received instruction from many top teachers from around the world, including Doshu. Never, at any time did any of them ever even remotely imply that striking vital areas is a part of aikido training or practice. Any teacher that would imply otherwise, would be negligent.

P.S. Aikido originated in Japan, not India.

Last edited by mike lee : 03-01-2003 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 03-01-2003, 05:38 AM   #41
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Assistance with research please?

Quote:
Josephine Lewis (Jo Lewis) wrote:
Hello, Aikidoists. I am not an Aikido practitioner, so please forgive me in advance if I make errors.

I am a writer, and would be most grateful if someone could assist me with a vexing problem I've encountered with my main character.

Am I right in understanding that the proficient Aikido practitioner can render a person unconscious *without* resorting to violence (e.g. throwing, punching etc)? I have a vague recollection about acupressure points, for example (I once met an Aikido practitioner who did an amazing thing with the inside of my wrist which caused me to collapse like a house of cards).

If I am correct in my assumption, would you be so kind as to give me the name of the movement and an indication of where the hand should be to affect the movement (obviously, if it is forward-facing, my protagonist can hardly approach from behind).

Many thanks in advance for any assistance you may be able to offer me.
Ms. Louis,

Well, your question has given rise to a very interesting thread, but I am not sure whether it will help in dealing with the problem of your main character.

I suggest you go to a dojo and either practise with, or talk to, a high-ranking aikido practitioner. I would think that 6th dan or above would be about right. Since you post from the UK and I am familiar with aikido in the UK, I can provide you with details and introductions if necessary. Feel free to contact privately if you wish (my address is in my profile).

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 03-01-2003, 07:44 AM   #42
aikidoc
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Mike Lee Wrote: "Striking vital areas of someones body is "non-aiki," especially when aikido offers so many better alternatives. This, as most aikidoists know, is what makes the art morally and ethically superior to most other martial arts, specifically striking arts.

Most students know this, and anyone who is instructing the art should know this. O-Sensei clearly stated that when someone intends to strike, this intent defies the laws of the universe.

Atemi in aikido is used only as a distraction or to check one's position. Any physical contact with atemi is usually only accidental."

The statement that striking pressure points in aikido is historically inaccurate. Because it is not practiced heavily now does not mean it was not part of aikido and is not being practiced in the art. Yes, it is true aikido originated in Japan; however, the locking and pnning arts picked up the use of atemi to vital points via India. There is a historical connection. Read the Bodhisattva Warriors. Daito-Ryu, one of the arts serving as an element of aikido development also used atemi to vital points or nerve points.

Saito defines atemi as a strike to vital points and "delivering blows to the body prior to applying techniques" (Saito, 1994: 172; Saito, 1974: 7). Saito, one of O'Sensei's longest personal students and 9th degree black belt (dan), asserted the lack of training in atemi strikes to vital points is a widespread modern training deficiency and may cause technique to become incomprehensible and meaningless. He considered it an essential element of basic and advanced technique.

Other definitions include: strikes directed toward openings in vital points to unbalance and distract the attacker, or a "finalizing blow in the termination of the entrapped attacker" (Crane & Crane, 1993: 39); . . ."to momentarily disturb an opponents Ki with Kime, Nage, or Osae executions"; . . . "to control him by simply striking him with the hand or elbow at the moment he loses his balance" (Shimizu, 1995: l0); and a defensive, non-devastating blow to neutralize the attacker's ki, and make it easier to guide the attack and unbalance them for a technique, without injury (Stevens, 1985: 195; Stevens, 1993: 117). More sophisticated definitions include the use of atemi as: 1) a technique to end confrontation, kill, knock out, or disable limbs; 2) a method to facilitate other techniques by causing pain, decreasing resistance, shifting attack energy, and altering body posture; and 3) a method to control the mind of the attacker (Ledyard, 1998: 33 34).

Ueshiba Kisshomaru, the founder's son, noted although Aikido gives the appearance of being soft, "it can actually be "hard," vigorous and dynamic, with powerful wrist locks and direct strikes. Contrary to what one might assume aikido contains several devastating techniques, especially those meant to disarm and subdue the enemy." (Ueshiba, K., 1987: 18). The Doshu comment on direct strikes is his not mine.

O'Sensei himself considered atemi-waza a basic element of Aikido as evident in his writings. Many of O'Sensei's senior students have attributed the importance of atemi-waza any where up to 99% of Aikido-depending on the storyteller.

Mike I understand your position and I found in my survey that many people to hold the same paradigm of aikido. However, to essentially call me a liar and a fraud (slanderous implications) and threaten to tell everyone in the world when I am simply researching and reporting the available aikido literature is irresponsible. As a journalist, you should do your research. I would be happy to provide you with a bibliography if you choose to read the relevant literature.

I stand by my discussion. The article is based on a review of the aikido historical literature. I did not write these things. O'Sensei's students and high ranking aikidoka did. To imply otherwise is to accuse them of fraud as well. I simply wrote about what I found.

You definitely have the right to practice and study aikido in any way you choose as do I and others interested in the topic. I have not had the opportunity to study under Doshu, however, I have a tape showing the current Doshu delivering a strike to the forehead (which was blocked by the uke) which would very likely have hit a pressure point on the head and would have been quite forceful if not blocked. This is off a yokomen attack.

You are surely correct in the desire to practice aikido the way you perceive it. However, others also have the right to practice aikido as they view it as well. That does not make them frauds it simply makes their style of aikido slightly different. Hence the many organizations of aikido out there (are they all frauds as well since some do not practice your way?).

Do your research. That means you have to read all of the aikido literature by the top writers in the field. If you still cannot find any references on aikido and striking then let me know and I will gladly quote you the pages and sources.

Last edited by aikidoc : 03-01-2003 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 03-01-2003, 07:54 AM   #43
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By the way, Peter is a very respected member of the aikido world and is president of the IAF. His comments imply he has read the thread. I would ask him directly if any of my statements are so heretical as Mr. Lee implies. Especially, to warrant such acrimony and accusations of fraud.


Last edited by aikidoc : 03-01-2003 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 03-01-2003, 07:58 AM   #44
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Dr. Goldsbury, having read the thread, is apparently already aware of my comments. So Mike, you can save at least one letter to tell on me-the one to the IAF.
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Old 03-01-2003, 08:35 AM   #45
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Mike: I also direct your attention to a recent Aikido Journal article by Stanley Pranin on the need for atemi in the art. Stanley is a well respected author and the editor of Aikido Journal.

You can also save your letter telling on me to the AAA as well. My sensei, the chief instructor and current head of the organization, has read the article in its entirety.
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Old 03-01-2003, 09:05 AM   #46
DaveO
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LOL - Now, THAT was impressive. I'd like to debate you sometime, Sir.

I have a related question, if I might:

There are vast differences between the styles of Aikido; in my dojo we recently had the pleasure of having a Yoshinkan student train with us (We're Ki Society) and I was surprised not only in the difference of technique but in the basic philosophy of the art itself. (You might have guessed; I'm a newcomer to Aikido; a bit less than a year.)

This thread has brought the question to me; how different does a style have to become before it is no longer considered Aikido?

Thanx!

Dave

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Old 03-01-2003, 10:06 AM   #47
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: the short answer

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
An aikidoist can do whatever he's been trained to do with aikido or non-aikido techniques.

Generally speaking, judo is known for its "sleeper holds" in which an artery to the brain is pinched, rendering a victim unconsious until they revive or are revived. Such techniques can also lead to brain damage or death.

In aikido we use painful pins on the arms or legs. While in some cases such pins can damage the muscles and tendons, or break bones, they do not cause death.
Actually, we were taught the so-called sleeper hold within Aikido. Philsophically it fits within the non-violent outlook of our art as it has a very low liklihood of inflicting injury. The sleeper has been used within the judo community for years with thousands of practitioners choked out without any fatalities. The misconception that it was dangerous started within the US law enforcement community when several subjects died after the sleepr was put on. In most of thsoe cases, it has turned out, the subject was suffering from manic exhaustive syndrome or cocaine psychosis and would have died anyway. It was not the sleeper that killed them. This technique is undergoing a restoration in many agencies because it actually prevents injuries to officers and subjects.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 03-01-2003, 10:39 AM   #48
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Dave:

Who did you want to debate? Me or Mike? I tried to back my stuff up with facts not emotions.

To answer your question would require another thread I think. What appears to have happened in the aikido literature starting with Tohei's split (I'm not sure if he was the first historically) is that "styles" of aikido evolved out of what was learned at that evolutionary phase of O'Sensei's aikido. I believe O'Sensei was quoted as noting when someone stated they wanted to learn his aikido that it was interesting since everyone else seemed to want to do their own thing. We seem to have evolved several different philosophies and "styles": ki society-more ki oriented; hombu; yoshikan (which I guess is more like early aikido); iwama-ryu; and Tomiki (more a judo flavor). There are many off-shoots from there. I think they are all doing what they have learned as aikido and what has evolved as a result. My personal preference has been to affiliate with the hombu just because it is the closer connection to the original art. I did start out in Ki Society and I have seen many different styles in seminars. I even see slight differences in the way aikikai organizations practice and their kihon waza. It's still aikido in my book.
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Old 03-01-2003, 11:01 AM   #49
DaveO
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
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Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Dave:

Who did you want to debate? Me or Mike? I tried to back my stuff up with facts not emotions.
Thanks for your response; just to make sure we're clear, it was meant as a compliment - I believe strongly with debating on facts, not emotions; finding people who do the same is rare these days; at least in the circles in which I move.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 03-01-2003, 11:04 AM   #50
George S. Ledyard
 
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,620
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Atemi

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
Striking vital areas of someones body is "non-aiki," especially when aikido offers so many better alternatives. This, as most aikidoists know, is what makes the art morally and ethically superior to most other martial arts, specifically striking arts.

Most students know this, and anyone who is instructing the art should know this. O-Sensei clearly stated that when someone intends to strike, this intent defies the laws of the universe.

Atemi in aikido is used only as a distraction or to check one's position. Any physical contact with atemi is usually only accidental.

Anyone who implies that striking vital areas as a part of aikido is wrong. I think that AAA, the IAF, Aikikai Hombu Dojo, and The Chamber of Commerce in Midland, Texas should be made aware of anyone who would make such an impllication.

The striking of vital points should only be taught by someone who is an expert in such an art. Aikido is not such an art.

I have received instruction from many top teachers from around the world, including Doshu. Never, at any time did any of them ever even remotely imply that striking vital areas is a part of aikido training or practice. Any teacher that would imply otherwise, would be negligent.

P.S. Aikido originated in Japan, not India.
Well, I normally let people have theirs opinions since almost all areas of discussion have their gray areas. But in this case Mike, I simply have to tell you that you are wrong. I think it is very important to distinguish between what is taught around the world in a public forum by the various high level teachers who are on the seminar circuit and what they teach their own deshi privately. If you have not been taught the use of atemi then your training is superficial. You might be able to execute your technique against a person of little or no skill without the use of atemi but there is NO CHANCE that you will do so against an opponent who is trained.

Your blanket statements and the aggressive manner in which you make them only leave you looking foolish. I have trained with Saotome Sensei for 26 years (He in turn trained under the Founder for fifteen). At the heart of his Aikido is atemi. Everything works because of that fact. In practice the atemi is usually implicit rather than explicit but it is there. When one trains with a person who is not aware of this one can tell imediately and his techniques are all stoppable.

To say atemi is un-aiki is a complete misunderstanding of what is aiki. It indicates a very simplistic idea of what non-violence actually is. Your statement essentially says that Saotome Sensei, Nishio Sensei, Chiba Sensei, Hikitsuchi Sensei, Shioda Sensei, all teachers with whom I am fairly familiar either directly or through their top students, don't understand aiki, that their Aikido is somehow non-authentic. That is ridiculous.

I have no idea what your background is, with whom you have trained etc. Since you do not spell it out then I risk insulting them by extension when I tell you that you are simply wrong in this. Either you have not trained with someone extensively enough that he thought it was neccesary to teach you the more martial aspects of the art or you have not trained with anyone who knew what he was doing. Of the two possibilities I think that the first is the more likely but in the absence of hard information from you one can only speculate.

As addressed by the folks who have been discussing Stan Pranin's articles about trying to regain the martial edge in Aikido we suffer in the art because we do not have competition. The reasons for this have to do with safety and O-Sensei's desire not to water down the art by establishing the limitations and rules that would be entailed by having competition. But the lack of competition allows people to make all manner of assertions which do not have to be backed up in the world of reality. Clint George Sensei calls this "wishful thinking" Aikido. I can simply state to you that if you decided to remove atemi from your repetoire you could not do any technique on me if I attacked you. You would be unable to do so even without my resorting to techniques from outside the art. If you chose to attempt to apply Aikido techniques on a high level practitioner from another style you would be taken apart within seconds.

I think people need to be aware that many, if not most, teachers do not teach the hardest aspects of the art to anyone but their own studenst. Most techers have a kind of seminar repetoire which they do as they travel around. It is often a mistake to judge what their Aikido is really like without training at their own dojos and seeing what they impart to their own SENIOR students directly. This dichotomy between teaching what is taught to the public and what is taught to your own deshi was something that O-sensei himself followed. He quite consciously did not show the people who were not his own direct deshi the same things he showed his direct students. So if there seems to be a disagreement about some crucial aspect of the art then one needs to go to the source. What is it that the direct students of the Founder teach to their own direct students? In no caes that I am aware of does any major teacher of Aikido (with one possible acception) whether from the pre-war period or the post war period maintain that the use of atemi in Aikido is un-aiki, not an essential part of their practice.

That said, the technical aspects of the study of atemi waza is often not very precise. As John Riggs has, I am sure, been finding through his research, much of what was known about atemi waza within Aikido is not very technical and is not taught systematically. Saotome Sensei utiliizes atemi in his Aikido all the time. But only rarely, and then usually directly to the individual student, not the whole class does he show the details of the precise vital point to be struck, the proper angle to strike it, etc. It is something he feels that instructors should know but isn't necessarily important for the general student body to be concerned about.

So Aikido students who wish to develop this side of their practice often need to do research on their own in oredr to devlop thier knowledge in his area.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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